Monday, March 31, 2014

Galaxy Magazine

I just put up a link to an collection of Galaxy Magazine from the 1950s.

Monday, February 17, 2014

American haiku

Filthy snow outside, but the trees sough, and you smell their wood in the wind.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


I was so immense, and gray,

my gray forbidding,
solemn, almost grave
and my cowcatcher formidable:
teeth of iron, a cowcruncher

but that's not what I want to talk about
I want to talk about filth

the snow filthy with coal
and sagebrush rattlers
the redskins piled up like
taut with smallpox

but that's not what I want to talk about
I want to talk about strength

I blew apart at Tonopah
rivets gashed across
engineers and superman's
chest so who

but that's not what I want to talk about
I want to talk about death

and cars
my cowcatcher would smash a car
and what's inside

and danger

but that's not what I want to talk about

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Amy Sacksteder's painting "Alternate Esja" fixes my eye

"Alternate Esja" Fixes My Eye
Two paintings by the artist Mark Rothko, famous for his bold stripes and squares, may have been hung the wrong way round by curators at a major gallery. 

--Telegraph, UK

I remember that London upset:
feet rooted before those troubling strips,
I wanted to bend in their
careless flow, to grow, to branch out,
but gravity staked me upright.

"Alternate Esja" granted me a new perspective:
all paintings are abstractions and not
subject to mere gravity. From far away
even the solid earth becomes gaudy stripes,
snow white, and frigid blue.

It's as though I'm floating in space, 
and dizzy with possibilities:
From Reno to Reykjavik,
I consult my inner ear, my inner eye, the landscape
before me, above me or below me.

The artist hurls me round the world,
to get it all sorted out, 
to make sense of the roiling
cumuli, the calving glaciers,  
the little scraps of iron we call cities.

Which way is up and which is down,
in real or alternate Esja?
Houston, can you hear me?
Listen, Houston: there is no up or down.
Houston, there is no problem.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

homage to oscar

On this cold Ohio night I don't need my glasses to move the garbage bin to the curb, but I wear them so I can see Orion.

Saturday, February 01, 2014

golden age
some marxist will explain this to me

stone age

iron age

lead age
you can't swallow it

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Le Guin eg. 5: Chastity

Ibrahim had come to the edge of the city. The wall, built to stay the unwary, smoothed at its top edge by wind and rain, still testified to the skill of Nineveh's masons, even after four centuries. They had gathered stones, lifted them up using wooden cranes and their own creaking muscles, and jigsawed the stones together so a knife blade could not slip between one and its neighbor. Ibrahim patted the wall, taking comfort in its solidity, but when he looked over the wall he was surprised to see three old women out at the river, washing clothes that tinted the water red.
He was even more surprised when the ground tilted up and dashed him against the parapet, which hit him mid-thigh throwing him to the edge. The drop wasn't far: maybe a hundred feet, but a hundred feet would kill him as surely as a thousand, and his gut rushed up, choking him and numbing his fingers. And just as he was tipping over a force hit his knees and he fell against the wall. compounded of pain and relief.